Hawks boss delighted with Ebbsfleet point
Lee Bradbury was delighted as the Hawks stretched their unbeaten run to five games with an outstanding 2-2 draw at National League South leaders Ebbsfleet United last night.
The Westleigh Park boss watched his side come through another stern test with flying colours – despite a red card for debutant James Haran.
After taking the lead through Harry Medway, the visitors found themselves 2-1 down before rallying to net a point through substitute James Hayter.
Bradbury said: ‘The players did well in the end to come from behind to secure a well deserved point.
‘We could even have won it because at 2-2 Nic Ciardini had a good shot from inside the area saved.
‘Our opening goal may have ben a bit flukey with Harry Medway’s cross catching in the wind to beat their goalkeeper. Maybe that is a sign our luck is changing.
‘That makes it five games unbeaten in the league and that is a testimony to our increased work-rate.
‘It is important we continue to rack up the points and keep the ball rolling.’
The Hawks made one change from the starting line-up that beat Maidstone United 2-1 at the weekend.
Queens Park Rangers loanee defender Haran was given his first start in place of Lee Molyneaux.
And the visitors were rewarded for a positive start when they took the lead through Medway on 14 minutes. Ben Swallow and Nic Ciardini worked the ball well across the field to the full-back whose cross caught in the wind and floated in at the far post.
Ebbsfleet hit back to equalise in the 25th minute when Matt Godden split the Hawks defence with a fine pass.
John-Paul Kissock ran through and fired his shot into the bottom corner.
The home side started to get on top and in the 32nd minute Hawks goalkeeper Ryan Young saved well with his legs to deny Dean Raunce.
Shamir Mullings was still causing Ebbsfleet problems with his physicality but it was the hosts who the half on top when a quick counter-attack saw Joe Howe shoot just wide.
The home side got their noses in front 10 minutes into the second half when the Hawks failed to deal with a deep cross.
The ball was floated to the far post where Godden rose to head the ball back into the opposite corner of the net.
Danny Kedwell then came within inches of increasing Ebbsfleet’s lead with a header that flew just wide.
The Hawks, however, again showed great resilience to hit back with an equaliser on 74 minutes.
Substitute James Hayter, on for Dan Strugnell who left the ground on crutches, got on the end of an Aaron Mitchell cross to push the ball home.
The visitors had Haran sent off for a second bookable offence in the last minute but held out for a fine point.
Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Medway, Stock, Haran, Hill, Swallow, Donnelly, Mullings, Ciardini, Mitchell. Subs: Cummings, Hayter, Paterson, Blanchett, Thomson